The Development and Integration of the World Economy in the 19th and 20th Centuries

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Neil Cummins SAR 513 and Mr Peter Sims


This course is compulsory on the MA Global Studies: A European Perspective, MSc in Economic History, MSc in Economic History (Research), MSc in Global History and MSc in Global Politics. This course is available on the MRes in Quantitative Economic History, MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation and MSc in Global Politics. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course aims to provide an overview of the development and integration of the world economy since the First Industrial Revolution. Global economic history over this period can be divided into four phases, around which the lectures will be based:

1. The birth of the modern world, 1780-1870

2. Globalisation, 1870-1914

3. Globalisation Backlash, 1914-195-

4. Globalisation since 1950

Particular themes covered include:

1. Catching-up, forging ahead and falling behind: analysis of reasons for success and failure in economic growth in different eras

2. The role of factor and trade flows in the development process

3. Demographic transitions and their links to economic factors

4. The international monetary system and financial crises

5. The wider role of institutions and institutional change


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of seminars in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6 of each term, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Three pieces of written work are to be submitted for the course.

Indicative reading

Broadberry, S. and O'Rourke, K.H. (eds.) (2010), The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe; Acemoglu, D., and Robinson, J.A. (2006), Economic origins of dictatorship and democracy; Livi-Bacci, M. (2001), A Concise History of World Population; Broadberry, S.N. (1998), "How did the United States and Germany Overtake Britain? A Sectoral Analysis of Comparative Productivity Levels, 1870-1990", Journal of Economic History; Hatton, T. and J. Williamson (1998), The Age of Mass Migration; Eichengreen, B. (1996), Globalizing Capital; Accominotti, O., and Flandreau, M. (2008), "Bilateral Treaties and the Most-Favored Nation Clause. The Myth of Trade Liberalization in the Nineteenth Century", World Politics; O'Rourke, K. and Williamson, J. (1999), Globalization and History; Harrison, M. (1988), "Resource Mobilization for the Second World War in the USA, UK, USSR, and Germany, 1938-45", Economic History Review; Eichengreen, B. and Hatton, T.J. (eds.), Interwar Unemployment in International Perspective; Eichengreen, B., and Sachs, J. (1985), "Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s", Journal of Economic History; Taylor, A.M. (1998), "On the Costs of Inward-Looking Development: Price Distortions, Growth, and Divergence in Latin America", Journal of Economic History.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Teachers' comment

Survey questions on feedback to students may be non-informative because assessed work comes later in the term than the survey.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2016/17: 73

Average class size 2016/17: 15

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 84%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)